Every president is shaped by his nominating convention. Lincoln's in 1860 not only was one of the most important, but also the most exciting in America up to that point. In a three day, three-ballot carnival of music, fireworks, and politics drawing some 40,000 people, Lincoln and his friends outwitted the leading celebrities of their party, capturing the prize with nerve, ambition, and brass tacks. They played the kind of hardball politics that usually made reformers cringe. Still, it gave us the one of the best presidents in American History. In this History Short, we tell the story of Lincoln's nominating convention primarily through the eyes of newspaper writers – giving it the immediacy and excitement of the moment, with annotations, background, and updated formatting.
About the Author
Kenneth D. Ackerman is also the author of BOSS TWEED: The Corrupt Pol who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York; DARK HORSE: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield; YOUNG J. EDGAR: Hoover and the Red Scare, 1919-1920; and THE GOLD RING: Jim Fisk, Jay Gould, and Black Friday, 1869.